A Busy Start to Autumn with Wildlife, Housing and Crime

Chiswick Homefields councillor Jack Emsley reports back

Cllr Jack Emsley (left) with Cllr Ron Mushiso
Cllr Jack Emsley (left) with Cllr Ron Mushiso

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October 14, 2023

Wildlife, Housing and Crime  

It feels like only yesterday I was writing about how busy the summer had been for local Chiswick councillors, but autumn has now well and truly arrived (via a slight detour through an unseasonably warm start to October). Here are just some of the main highlights from a busy start to the new season…

Chiswick Through the Lens

Last week the winner of the inaugural Wild Chiswick photography competition was announced at an awards event at the brilliant Room2 hotel on Windmill Road. The competition was a showcase of just how fantastic our local wildlife and environment is, with pictures ranging from beautiful blossom on Church Street to a close-up of two snails caught in a warm embrace (really!). I was one of the judges who had the unenviable task of picking a winner from over 150 fantastic entries, with Paul Brown’s excellent picture of an urban fox staring at the camera, titled “who’s watching who”, coming out on top.

A huge congratulations to everyone at WildChiswick on such a fantastic project, and particularly to the group’s founder, Joanne Gilbert. If you haven’t already seen some of the brilliant photographs from the competition, the project will be going on tour across Chiswick over the next few weeks, with the winning photographs in each category displayed in the following places:

Repair Cafe at Christ Church: Saturday 21 October, 10.30am – 1pm

Boston Manor Park: Sunday 22 October, afternoon

Chiswick Flower Market: Sunday 5 November, 9am – 4pm

Housing Issues Continue

You may have read in the local press recently the story of Chiswick resident and council tenant Sahra, a single mum who has been forced to live in terrible conditions due to failures by Hounslow Council’s Housing Department. Her kitchen and living room were left covered in mould despite repeated attempts to get action taken by the council’s housing team. The council’s inaction led to her and her children developing health issues and, after repeated broken promised by the council to fix the problem, Sahra was forced to pay out of her own pocket to fix the mould issues.

Those who regularly read my blogs both here and in other local press will know I’ve been increasingly concerned about the state of council housing in this borough: from a record number of empty council homes to a 2,000% (no, that’s not a typo!) increase in outstanding repairs for council tenants, something is going badly wrong. So far, the only response we’ve had from the Labour councillor in charge of housing in Hounslow has been a statement saying that the council has “set up a dedicated healthy homes taskforce, with a detailed action plan for clearing the backlog of repairs and will improve the data captured on cases in the borough.” Ah, a new task force and yet another plan… that’ll help residents like Sahra!

I’ve been pushing the lead member for housing in the borough to take more concrete action on the failings in her department, and she recently committed to let every empty council home “by the end of this year”. That obviously doesn’t solve the huge repairs backlog, and quite how the council plans to go from a record number of empty council homes to letting every single one in just a few months is anyone’s guess – we’ll see if the council manages to hit that target in about 10 weeks. I’ll continue to push for real changes in the way the council handles housing in the borough, both for my constituents like Sahra, but also for residents right across the borough who are having to live with the consequences of these failures.

Taking Action on Local Crime

The recent reports of a worrying rise in violent crime, shoplifting and anti-social behaviour have dominated the discussions I’ve been having on the doorstep recently.

In Chiswick Homefields, there’s been a particular concern about the rise in crime along the footpath between Barnes Bridge and Chiswick Station. I spoke to our ward officer, Sam Allo, about this particular stretch earlier this week after two robberies and one attempted robbery took place there in the past few days. This has been flagged as an area for concern on Streetsafe, and the local police team has highlighted a number of improvements that need to be made to the path in order to keep people safe, including the installation of CCTV as I flagged in my last blog. I’m chasing the council to get action taken on these recommendations asap.

In the meantime, my colleague over in Chiswick Gunnersbury, Cllr Ranjit Gill, has organised the fourth Chiswick Police Public Meeting this Monday (16 October) at Chiswick Town Hall. The meeting will give our community the chance to ask questions of the Metropolitan Police Borough Commander for West London, Chief Superintendent Sean Wilson, and local police officers. Doors open at 6:30pm for a 7pm start – hopefully see some of you there!

So, that’s it for another Chiswick Councillor blog – it’s been a busy start to autumn!

Cllr Jack Emsley


07977 396017


Chiswick: Every Saturday from 9.30am to 10.30am at Chiswick Library (the eight Conservative councillors take this surgery in turn).

Gunnersbury: First Saturday of the month from 10am to 11am at The Gunnersbury Triangle Club, Triangle Way, off The Ridgeway, W3 8LU (at least one of the Chiswick Gunnersbury ward councillors takes this surgery). 


Chiswick Gunnersbury (was Turnham Green) ward

Cllr Joanna Biddolph joanna.biddolph@hounslow.gov.uk 07976 703446

Cllr Ranjit Gill ranjit.gill@hounslow.gov.uk 07976 702956

Cllr Ron Mushiso ron.mushiso@hounslow.gov.uk 07976 702887

Chiswick Homefields ward

Cllr Jack Emsley jack.emsley@hounslow.gov.uk 07977 396017

Cllr Gerald McGregor gerald.mcgregor@hounslow.gov.uk 07866 784821

Cllr John Todd john.todd@hounslow.gov.uk 07866 784651

Chiswick Riverside ward

Cllr Peter Thompson peter.thompson@hounslow.gov.uk 07977 395810  

Cllr Gabriella Giles gabriella.giles@hounslow.gov.uk 07966 270823 

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